Wednesday, November 30, 2016

1996 New England Patriots Season

With the New England Patriots now the first team that originated in the American Football League to reach 500 career wins, a look back twenty years to the first sign of a budding dynasty, a dynasty that would not truly emerge until years later.

One Cuban's View of Castro

In the early 2000s......

Trump's Pick of Price Puts Obamacare in the Crosshairs

Opponents of Obamacare should be greatly encouraged by President-elect Donald Trump's pick of House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price

(The incoming Secretary of Health and Human Services), Price, an M.D., has advanced the most serious Obamacare alternative to date on Capitol Hill. His legislation (H.R. 2300) is co-sponsored by 84 House members, including Jeb Hensarling, Mike Pompeo (Trump's pick to lead the CIA), Trey Gowdy, and Marsha Blackburn. Bill Kristol called Price's alternative the strongest Obamacare alternative offered in Congress to date upon its introduction in 2015.

Democratic attacks on Price have intensified, yet they expose the Democrats' attack on medical technology research.

'Sanctuary Campuses' Invite a Federal Standoff

Grandstanding universities play with fire and thus will get burned

In the wake of Donald Trump's election, many colleges and universities vowed to become sanctuary campuses for students in the country illegally. The matter will take on a special urgency in the event that soon-to-be President Trump repeals the executive-ordered Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which deferred the enforcement of immigration laws for those who came here as children. The practical consequences of a sanctuary campus policy remain murky (as is often the case when college administrators take direction from student protesters). Will openly harboring illegal aliens jeopardize colleges' federal funding, for instance? In an age of funding-backed executive overreach puppeteering campus policy, it would be dangerous to assume otherwise.

Repeal Overtime Rules

The incoming Trump administration needs to repeal Obama's rules on overtimes in the labor market, yet another futile government intervention in economics.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week 13 NFL Down To Nitty Gritty

The nitty gritty has now begun for the NFL's 2016 season and what has been a much more competitive season than I think a lot of people thought looks to be even more so.

Week 12's touchdown montage

Cowboys over Vikings - The Cowboys have only failed once this year - in Week One, with a rematch pending and a far different Cowboys team coming in. The Vikings meanwhile have faltered badly with Sam Bradford and it won't get any better this week.

Lions over Saints - The three best things to happen to Matthew Stafford have been - the hiring of Jim Caldwell as head coach, the firing of Joe Lombardi and replacement with Jim Bob Cooter - yeah yeah, the name sounds like something out of 19 Kids And Counting, big deal - as offensive coordinator, and the retirement of Calvin Johnson.   Caldwell clearly fits with Stafford and Cooter clearly fits far better than Lombardi, but perhaps the biggest deal is Calvin Johnson had become Stafford's binky and now without a binky Stafford has had to throw to more people - and it's made him a better quarterback to where he's now beating quality opponents where for the longest time he couldn't.

One of Stafford's signature games was the amazing 2013 shootout win over the Cowboys - it was also one of just a few wins over a quality opponent Stafford pulled off until the last year or two.

The Lions get a Saints team that's certainly played well but is only 5-6 and has gone just 3-3 the last six games (the Lions in contrast are 5-1) and New Orleans' defensive woes are too well known to require any elaboration.   The trendings have been for the Lions and against the Saints.

Last year the Niners pulled off one of the wildest finishes of the 2015 season

Bears over 49ers - Matt Barkley we think will start this game and after a very slow start against the Titans led a spirited comeback attempt decided on a goalline stand.   Barkley may be the quarterback John Fox needs with the incompetent volume stats whore Jay Cutler clearly done.   The Niners are stuck with Colin Kaepernick, who nonetheless has been playing better the last few games.

Packers over Texans - Just 2-3 in their last five games, the Texans are clearly falling out of the playoffs with the Tennessee Titans on their bye week, and they go to Lambeau Field to face a Packers team that got a morale-boosting win at Philly.   Not only is Osweiler playing more and more poorly, Bill O'Brien is showing more and more he is not the quarterback guru people thought he was.\

Broncos over Jaguars - The loss to the Chiefs was a major blow to a Broncos team now out of the playoffs on tiebreakers but they get a Jaguars team that's 2-9 and a quarterback in Blake Bortles who has now shown little reason to feel a renaissance can happen.

Eagles over Bengals - The Eagles are no longer a playoff contender, but they get a reeling Bengals squad this week.

Patriots over Rams -  The Rams looked encouraging earlier this season but have faltered and now are starting Jared Goff, whose completion percentage is slightly lower than Case Keenum's.   The Patriots are banged up and trying to rest some of their starters as much as they can, but with a race for the top seed developing with the Raiders the good news is Brady is now throwing to more people in Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell, not to mention the returning Dion Lewis.  

Dolphins over Ravens - It's clear Adam Gase is getting more out of Ryan Tannehill than anyone thought he had and the Dolphins have everything to play for now plus they've beaten some respectable competition in their winning streak.   They get an inconsistent Ravens squad that's won three of its last four but they've all been against their division foes and the only quality opponents they've beaten are the Bills and the Steelers.  

Chiefs over Falcons - Beating the Broncos was huge for the Chiefs and the division is a real possibility now as they face a Falcons team that's gone 3-3 their last six games; one also has to remain dubious about Matt Ryan down the stretch.

Raiders over Bills - The Bills have been good; the Raiders, though, are playing lights-out and Derek Carr is the real deal.   The wildcard angle is the mediocrity of the Raiders defense; the Bills, though, haven't reached 29 points scored since lighting up the Niners.

NY Giants over Steelers - Speaking of rejuvination the NY Giants are that with six straight wins despite no more than 28 points scored in any game all season.  They get a woefully inconsistent Steelers offense that hit 28 or more points four times yet failed to reach 20 in three of the four games in their recent losing streak.  

Redskins over Cardinals -  The Redskins are still a playoff team and the Cardinals are effectively out of the playoffs.   The Cardinals defense is still 11th in points allowed yet has been lit up for 30 or more in their last three losses.

Buccaneers over Chargers -  The Bucs surprisingly have been a better road team (4-1) than a home team (2-4) while the Chargers have been uneven (2-2) at home and have not shown as much improvement as needed in the wild wild AFC West.    The Bucs have a lot more to play for than the Chargers.

Seahawks over Panthers - There seems no bloom left for the 2015 NFC champs as they limp into Seattle off another bitter loss, but upon further review the Panthers have won three of their last five.  The inconsistency of the Seahawks may also factor in favor of the Panthers - 3-2-1 in the Seahawks' last six games and with a semi-epic meltdown at Tampa Bay to go with a 1-2 record against the NFC South.   So this may be a tougher game than one might think a #2 seed in the NFC would get.

NY Jets over Colts - What one needs to know about this matchup - Scott Tolzien cannot play (winless as a starter) and Andrew Luck is atrocious against AFC East teams - 2-9 lifetime and hasn't beaten an AFC East team since beating the Dolphins in 2012.   The Jets limp into this game looking to salvage something and look to get it, though their longer-term issue of trying to sell tickets instead of build a credible program remains.

So it's down to the nitty gritty - we apologize for the cliches.

Monday, November 28, 2016

More On The Tyranny of Fidel Castro

While left-wing Western leaders celebrate the late Fidel Castro—whitewashing much of Cuba's recent history in the process—it's worth remembering how total and insidious the Communist dictator's tyrannical regime was for the Cuban people.

Over the years, THE WEEKLY STANDARD has documented some of this tyranny, as well as the useful idiots who explain away Castro's disregard for human rights and freedom. The articles are all worth the time, but read some excerpts from them below.

In a piece previewing Pope John Paul II's 1998 visit to Cuba, George Weigel wrote about the numerous ways in which the Communist regime had restricted the Catholic Church:
So what do the Vatican and the Cuban church want from this visit? First, the church would like the assistance of Latin American priests as it expands its activities. The Cuban government has, until quite recently, regularly denied (or terminally stalled) requests for visas from Latin American clergy. In pre-visit negotiations with the government, the Vatican raised the issue of visas, arguing that the church needed priests to help prepare for the pope's visit. Soon, the government changed its policy and issued a significant number of visas. The church would like to see the visa process routinized, so that it has clergy sufficient to maintain a vigorous public ministry.
Then there is the question of the church as a charitable institution. Recent Cuban policy has allowed the church to receive humanitarian assistance from abroad (primarily foodstuffs and medicines), but not to distribute it--a role the government has reserved for itself. A change in this policy, allowing the church to distribute independently the aid it receives, would be a major improvement.

Another issue is media access. Ever since the Communists seized power, the church has been denied access to the mass media, a major factor in widespread public ignorance of the church and its leading personalities. (Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the archbishop of Havana, walks through the streets of his city unrecognized by many.) Moreover, the church has not been allowed to publish independently; religious materials--Bibles, catechisms, missals, hymnals--must be imported (under government control, of course). But there has been some easing of these restrictions in advance of the pope's visit, and the church hopes that the trend will continue, and even expand, after the pope leaves.
And last, there is the persistent matter of political prisoners. Church sources indicate that some 900 remain in jail. The church wants them released, and it wants the government to permit them and their families to emigrate, if they so choose.

The Lie Of Black Lives Matter

The Black Lives Matter movement is built on a lie and sustains it to justify itself.

The Real Legacy Of Fidel Castro

Thirteen facts about Fidel Castro.

NFL Week Twelve Changes Everything

And suddenly the NFL season is becoming what a lot of people thought would not happen when thirteen teams were 1-3 and it appeared the same teams were going to make the playoffs yet again. Thanksgiving weekend left a lot of thanks for a lot of teams to give.

The New England Patriots became the first team born in the American Football League to reach 500 franchise wins - and did so against the franchise against whom in September 1960 that got their first win.

In that process Tom Brady tied Peyton Manning for most career wins at 200, and did so in vintage clutch matter.

While the Patriots still lead the AFC East at 9-2, that lead is no longer comfortable, nor is the top seed in the AFC secure; the AFC South is now in flux as well, because....................

The Miami Dolphins clawed to a 31-24 lead and needed a goalline stand to win the game against a 49ers team that's 1-9 yet now playing better, despite the poor quarterbacking quality and worse intellectual views of Colin Kaepernick, who insulted Miami's Cuban community by supporting the late unlamented Cuban dictator and Soviet-era stooge Fidel Castro.   

Meanwhile the Tennessee Titans raced to a 21-7 lead at the Bears and led 27-21 late, but they too needed a goalline stand to win the game.   They are now 6-6 and within striking range of the AFC South with yet another poor performance by Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans. 

The Dolphins are now the six seed in the AFC playoffs, because........

The Denver Broncos fell in one of the bitterest grinders of a game they've had in years against the Kansas City Chiefs.    Trevor Siemian exploded with two huge touchdowns in the second half, but Alex Smith stormed down in the final minutes and nailed a controversial late touchdown, then a two-point conversion that forced overtime.   The exchange of field goals led to a missed 62-yarder by the Broncos.................

..........then the Chiefs pulled off the most preposterous field goal in years for the 30-27 win.  

The Broncos thus fell out of the playoffs at 7-4 on the conference tiebreaker with the Dolphins.  

The Oakland Raiders secured their first winning season since their 2002 Superbowl season and did it in one of the wildest games of the year.   The Raiders won despite blowing a 17-point lead; they trailed by eight late, tied the game, booted a go-ahead field goal, then stopped Cam Newton hard.   They nonetheless fell to the #2 seed in the AFC on the conference record tiebreaker with the Patriots.

Meanwhile the Bucs have clawed into potential playoff contention while puncturing the myth of Seahawks invincibility - the Seahawks have now failed to win in four road games, this even though nobody could score once the two teams it 14-5.    Alterraun Verner picked off Russell Wilson, an especially bittersweet moment for him given tragedy that befell him days earlier.  

The Bills are also still in playoff contention after a spirited duel with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

So the net result of all this is shown below -


#1 New England Patriots - East
#2 Oakland Raiders - West 

#3 Baltimore Ravens - North, vs. #6 Miami Dolphins
#4 Houston Texans - South, vs. #5 Kansas City Chiefs


Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans


#1 Dallas Cowboys - East
#2 Seattle Seahawks - West

#3 Detroit Lions - North, vs. #6 Washington Redskins
#4 Atlanta Falcons - South, vs. #5 New York Giants


Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings

And looking at this list, the Titans look good enough to steal the AFC South; the Steelers and Bills are too uneven; the Broncos are still tough but no longer the juggernaut thought of them - while the Vikings no longer look like a playoff team.  

There are still five games left so the season is yet again subject to revision, but it also looks like a lot of teams are going to light up the scoreboard in that process.

Friday, November 25, 2016

California's New Border Fence

The new border fence will arc around California and will be patrolled by Drones provided by Cylon Technologies Inc., John Baltar Colicos CEO.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Repealing The Glass-Steagall Act

A look at the mythology surrounding the Glass-Steagall Act.

California Yet Again Leads From Behind In Housing

California has a housing crisis - and yet again it's because of limitation on supply and hatred of the concept of growth.

NFL's Thanksgiving Feast

The struggles of Brock Osweiler against the Raiders testified to his weakness as a quarterback and is a bad sign for the Texans going forward.

The NFL now hits Thanksgiving week and the smorgasboard becomes more appetizing as the final run to the playoffs kicks off on Thursday.  


Lions over Vikings - The Lions now lead the NFC North and would host the Redskins in the playoffs as of right now.   The Lions' run from a 1-3 start has been strong and the Vikings continue to look shaky as Sam Bradford's effectiveness may have already peaked.

Cowboys over Redskins - The Cowboys are officially back, 9-1 and hosting the 6-3-1 Redskins after Week Two's close loss at FedEx Field.   Right now the only thing stopping the Cowboys would seem to be the question of whether they can win in the playoffs.  

Steelers over Colts -  Neither team is looking strong enough to take control of their scenarios, both at 5-5 and shaky as such.   Pittsburgh, though, has won four of the last five meetings and Andrew Luck may not even play after being beaten up in the Titans game.

Texans over Chargers - The Chargers season looks now to be over, despite reportage from Bert Breer than they will in fact give San Diego one more season to try and get a new stadium there - though again it begs why the Chargers can't simply refurbish Qualcomm the way the Dolphins redid Joe Robbie Stadium.   The Chargers have gagged up twenty-two turnovers and Philip Rivers has not been clutch for several years now, going against a Houston team that's unbeaten at home despite Brock Osweiler's struggle.  

Dolphins over 49ers - Total mismatch.   Colin Kaepernick has quit on winning; Ryan Tannehill appears now to be getting a new lease on life under Adam Gase.  One wonders if the Niners front office kicks out Chip Kelly after one year; certainly Kaepernick has to go.

Saints over Rams  - Remember the old NFC West and how the Saints were division foes with the Rams?  The Saints would like to resurrect memories of Los Angeles, as thirteen of New Orleans' 31 wins against the Rams came in the 1987-94 period when they were still in LA.  The Rams' poor performance against the Dolphins showcased why Jared Goff was kept on the bench until now, as he did nothing indicative of a quarterback of the future.   The Saints' much-mocked defense has improved the last five games despite a 2-3 record in that span.

Bills over Jaguars - What has happened to Blake Bortles?  It doesn't get any easier against a Bills team that is in the top-12 in points on both sides of the ball and has only gagged up six turnovers where Bortles now has thirteen INTs.  

Titans over Bears - Another bitterly close loss to the Colts; one of these days, Morton, wunna these days, POW! RIGHT IN THE KISSER!  That has to be the Titans attitude toward the Colts as they travel to face the moribund Bears, 2-8 and stuck with Jay Cutler.   Marcus Mariota's quarterbacking keeps getting better and this should begin a late-season turnaround for a Titans squad whose improvement by now is obvious.

Bengals over Ravens -  The Bengals are out of the playoffs, but the Ravens have not shown they belong in them, and the recent history has been all Bengals in this rivalry.   The big question mark is whether Andy Dalton can make other receivers into weapons with AJ Green presumably on the shelf.

Falcons over Cardinals - The Falcons have lost three of their last five but get a Cardinals team that has not shown it can take advantage of it.   Carson Palmer's effectiveness may be at an end.  

NY Giants over Browns - It's a case of no hope for the Browns this year - and maybe a long time down the road.   Nothing has been done right by the Browns almost since their rebirth, and the Giants, with the playoffs there for the taking in the tough NFC East, are in no mood for sympathy.  

Buccaneers over Seahawks - The Seahawks are clearly back to playoff muscle, but their past as road non-warriors has curiously crept back into the fore, with both losses plus the tie at Arizona being road games.   They travel to a Bucs team that's been putting up points the last five games and has won three of them, with Jameis Winston now at twenty touchdowns.  

Patriots over NY Jets - Never an easy matchup for the Patriots, the Jets benched Bryce Petty because of a poor performance against the Rams and are restarting Ryan Fitzpatrick.   The Patriots have come under fire for defensive struggles but the benching or trading of several players has hidden that there was some improvement in discipline on defense after the loss to the Seahawks - a game where the defense improved in the game's second half.   Injuries on offense should be more worrisome to the Patriots with Rob Gronkowski possibly out for awhile due to a lung injury.

Raiders over Panthers - It's not the same Panthers of 2015, and it's definitely not the same Raiders, who are now the AFC's top seed.   The rebirth of the Raiders has been one of the stories of the season - to where the conspiracy buffs have come out of the woodworks regarding officiating in the Raiders' favor.

Broncos over Chiefs - The Broncos are not as good as often hyped to be, but the Chiefs after a tough loss to the Bucs aren't in better shape, though they lead the league in turnover differential (plus-thirteen) and are fifth in points allowed compared to Denver's ninth.    This could be a lot closer than it looks.

Eagles over Packers - The Packers are now in freefall and staring at falling to nine losses with this game plus upcoming tilts with the Vikings, Lions, and Seahawks beckoning.   Aaron Rodgers is not a winning quarterback now as his weaknesses as a quarterback have become more prevalent - lack of reads, insistence on freelancing - against an Eagles team still fourth in points allowed despite losing five of their last seven games.  

So Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 21, 2016

What I Want To Do With Snow

And that's fire a gigantic laser cannon to kill it.

Brian France And A NASCAR Season - Yet Again - To Forget

NASCAR's 2016 season plodded to its end at Homestead and to the surprise of many Jimmie Johnson exploded to the championship by winning the Miami 400. That Johnson won the title - and became the third driver with seven Winston Cup titles - was a head-shaker and yet another layer of success for a driver who has never struggled for anything at the major league level, getting into stock cars by way of the old ASA Series in 1998 and having GM's then-racing boss Herb Fishel as a guiding force, to where it was obvious by 2000 that Johnson would be slotted with Fishel's designated championship outfit - Hendrick Motorsports.

The longtime story that Jeff Gordon "discovered" Johnson and signed him to Hendrick is just spin, as the prospect that Johnson would enter Winston Cup with a Ford team, a Dodge team, or a non-Hendrick Chevy team was nonexistent by dint of the fact Herb Fishel was basically his mentor - it would nonetheless provide reason to respect Johnson's successes if he'd won races and titles with one of the other Chevy teams like Morgan-McClure or Andy Petree Racing.  Being Fishel's hack inevitably puts a damper on Johnson's successes.

Johnson's title - the seventh time in now thirteen Chases where the declared champion was not the champion of a non-Chase format - and his widespread unpopularity testifies to the underrated problem that NASCAR's stars are not in sober fact worth rooting for, and it is just another example making the 2016 Winston Cup season worth forgetting.   The racing at the Cup level once again was the biggest reason - NASCAR's lack of lead changes was in graphic evidence to a more visible extent than normal this past season, and the low downforce package was pushed throughout the season in varied media forums even though the blunt truth of its utter failure testifies to the spin that substitutes for analysis in modern NASCAR.   There simply isn't reason to feel NASCAR is giving people the actual truth.

Brian France's reputation for spineless spin was in action yet again during Homestead weekend following word that NASCAR's champion's points fund was cut in half.   The spin is the points fund will be more equitably split - which rubs salt into the wound for the likes of Dave Marcis, who long demanded NASCAR and its tracks "pay a better damned purse" as he would caustically put it to Bruton Smith.   That NASCAR suddenly is going that way suggests there are real money problems.

And it led Brian France to hold a 30-minute presser defending the health of the sport, and his defenses as usual have no credibility. As one observer, Randy Cadenhead, put it, "he was not prepared and had no intention of fielding any hardball questions."    Indeed Cadenhead described the presser as "a trainwreck" and with a new Cup series sponsors still not signed just three months before the Daytona 500 - this twenty-three months after Sprint announced it was leaving the sport - the analogy to a trainwreck is apt.

There is also the promised new manufacturer for NASCAR - Brian France made it out that two such manufacturers were wanting to enter the sport, and yet there is no sign of anything.  


So was there anything worth remembering in the 2016 NASCAR season?  Well yes - the Truck Series produced terrific races at Daytona (by far the best race of the year), Kansas, Texas, and Michigan, while the Xfinity series saw a pair of unusual affairs at Bristol and a very spirited Firecracker 250.   At the Cup level the Daytona 500's photo finish was virtually the only racing all day while the Firecracker 400 had the most sustained battle for the lead.   The Cup series also ended a drought spanning some 25 months without a first-time winner.  

Yet it was all thin competitive gruel for a sport that's supposed to be a lot better than this, illustrated not only by the Trucks but by the Indianapolis 500 and Indycar's Texas 600k finish, Indy Lights' 100-miler at the Brickyard, and Talladega's ARCA 200-miler.   


Adding to the sense of bitterness is 2016 marked anniversaries of three of NASCAR's most memorable seasons -

In 1976 NASCAR's first greatest finish erupted in David Pearson's stunning wreck and victory in the Daytona 500, followed by his spectacular ten-win season, a spectacular nine victories and first title for Cale Yarborough, and gutsy efforts by Richard Petty, Dave Marcis, Benny Parsons, and Lennie Pond, not to mention a shocking comeback win by Donnie Allison amid a winless season for his brother Bobby.  It was a season highlighted by the Daytona 500 stunner and memorable battles at Atlanta, the Southern 500, Charlotte, Pocono, and Talladega.

Ten years later 1986 saw an eruption of thirteen Cup winners and three first-timers - none wilder than Bobby Hillin's upset at the chaotic Talladega 500.  A last-lap melee at Richmond by Dale Earnhardt sent a surprised Kyle Petty to his first win and was the first national notice to the questionable racing ethic of Earnhardt.   The story of the year was the mid-season eruption of Tim Richmond to national prominence; Richmond's eruption to seven wins was highlighted by his wreck at Pocono where he erased a lap deficit and stormed to a stunning photo-finish win; amid all that Earnhardt clawed to five wins and his second series title, and it wasn't until controversy and tragedy cut short his career that people realized how special Richmond was.

Ten years after that, the 1996 season began in one of the wildest Daytona 500s ever; a three-straight victory bid by Sterling Marlin faltered - he would settle for a huge comeback win at Talladega and a rain-shortened Firecracker win - and Dale Jarrett, a former 500 winner, stormed to the win that began a spectacular run of success (four wins that year alone) while Earnhardt earned a pair of wins and more controversy after a dropkick to Bobby Hamilton, denying Hamilton a win that would not come until a bitterly fought season reached Phoenix at the end of October. Memorable upsets by Geoff Bodine, Ricky Rudd, and Bobby Labonte - driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in the first year the organization opened its own engine shop - sandwiched around Hamilton's breakthrough.   The story of that season, though, was Jeff Gordon, who exploded to ten wins for the first time in his career, and Terry Labonte, who stormed to two wins and pounced on late-season DNFs by Gordon, this despite a wrist injury late in the season.   The Daytona 500, both Talladega weekends, Pocono in June, Dover in September, and Phoenix highlighted quality racing that season.

It was a case of a lot to look back upon and next to nothing to look forward to.   This may be the summation of what so many fans feel about NASCAR with the end of 2016 and Brian France's endless spin in the wake of real problems.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Hillary Clinton And Mismanagement Of Libya

Part of why Hillary Clinton lost the election is people know she has done nothing but lie about not protecting American lives in Benghazi, instead being caught completely unprepared by Islamic attack, letting the enemy escape, and then lying about it ever since. Less well known is Hillary's obsession with overthrowing the Qaddafi dictatorship in Libya and to providing weapons to "rebels" who were actually Islamic terrorists, and nowhere did Clinton or Obama have any idea what to replace Qaddafi with. Hillary Milhous Clinton in short engaged in the very kind of sloppiness passing for "leadership" claimed of George W. Bush in Iraq - except Bush won his war (as Barack Obama's quiet reintroduction of troops there testifies) and actually had an idea what to do next.

Psychiatry Professor: 'Transgenderism' Is Mass Hysteria Similar To 1980s-Era Junk Science

"The movement’s philosophy qualifies it as a popular delusion similar to the multiple-personality craze, and the ‘satanic ritual abuse’ and ‘recovered memory’ hysterias of the 1980s and 90s."

What Trump Can Learn from Nixon

A look at Trump's entry into the White House with comparison to the Nixon Administration.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

An Open Letter To Donald Trump On Foreign Policy

Richard Epstein authors this open letter on foreign policy to the President-elect.

Also noteworthy is this look at the myth of intellectuals versus the wisdom of actual experience, cunning, and work

Undoing the Iran Deal Is Easy

The election of Donald Trump is bad news for the nuclear deal with the Ayatollahs.

The Weaponization of Politics Reaches the Workplace

Once again the failed state of California shows the way

If you have had food delivered to your home or office from a favorite restaurant that doesn't offer in-house delivery service, chances are you've used a service called GrubHub.

Following Donald Trump's victory, Grubhub's CEO and Democratic donor Matt Maloney sent an email to the more than 1,000 employees the next day that read in part:

"I absolutely reject the nationalist, anti-immigrant and hateful politics of Donald Trump and will work to shield our community from this movement as best as I can. As we all try to understand what this vote means to us, I want to affirm to anyone on our team that is scared or feels personally exposed, that I (and) everyone else here at Grubhub will fight for your dignity and your right to make a better life for yourself and your family here in the United States.
If you do not agree with this statement then please reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here. We do not tolerate hateful attitudes on our team.
While demeaning, insulting, and ridiculing minorities, immigrants, and the physically/mentally disabled worked for Mr. Trump, I want to be clear that this behavior — and these views — have no place at GrubHub."

Some employees said they got the impression they were not welcome at Grubhub if they supported Trump. On Friday Mahoney insisted his email was "misconstrued, technology-based." But that sounds more like damage control than anything else.

Putting Obamacare Out of Its Misery

Trump's health care opportunity

Discontent with Obamacare—and with the delivery of health care more broadly—unites most Americans across our other divisions. That discontent creates enormous opportunities and risks for our president-elect.

The new administration would be misguided to start a typical Washington process that brings the usual suspects to town for dull sessions that grind out pablum that no one will digest. On the other hand, they will not inherit a detailed roadmap from congressional Republicans and should not expect that any Health and Human Services (HHS) transition team, no matter how talented and focused, can quickly create a workable plan in isolation.

History provides useful lessons in how to proceed. Donald Trump's opponent in this election created a dreadful first impression with the American people in 1993 by overseeing a justly derided process for reforming health care—a Byzantine cabal, working in secret, that contributed to the collapse of her initiative. Almost two decades later, President Barack Obama repeated Hillary Clinton's mistake, jamming a flawed bill through Congress in the least transparent and most partisan way. It was without parallel in any major domestic reform in American history. Resentment over having to pass the bill [to] find out what's in it ignited seven years of partisan bitterness in Congress and, more broadly, increased the contempt for Congress that helped to fuel Trump's historic upset.

NFL Now Rolling Eleven

Yep, the Bengals failed in a big opportunity again, and the NY Giants are now in the fight for the NFC playoffs.

And suddenly the NFL landscape is a lot different entering Week Eleven than it was when thirteen teams were 1-3 - of course the 0-4 Browns are still winless, so on that score nothing has changed.  

So what can we think we'll see for this coming week's games?

Panthers over Saints - This is a risky pick given both teams lost last week and the Panthers' inability to hold a lead showed its ugly head again against the Chiefs.   Being at home is not advantage for the Panthers either, but neither team has looked like a playoff team despite some gaudy offenses and an aging Drew Brees is still having his hands full despite yet more 4,000-yard production.

Bengals over Bills -  The Bengals' run of playoff appearances is almost certainly over but this week they lick their wounds from another primetime flameout and get a Bills team that's been competitive but not good enough.  

Steelers over Browns -  It is simply impossible to feel the Browns can win even one game, as mediocre as the Steelers are.

Cowboys over Ravens -  The Ravens lead the AFC North and that says this division is the weakest in the league as they take on a Cowboys team that keeps taking the steps needed toward making the Superbowl.

Lions over Jaguars - One of the regrets of the season has been the regression of Blake Bortles and the Jaguars, who showed every reason to feel they would take the next step - instead it's been the division-leading Lions - that's right, I'll say it again, division-leading Lions - who may have taken that next step.  

Titans over Colts - Yes, this is a completely risky pick because of the ten straight wins by the Colts over the Titans and with the Colts coming off a bye.   The Titans, however, have shown significant improvement the last few games (especially in Marcus Mariota's command of the offense and in coaching) and they've usually played the Colts bitterly tough in this ten-game stretch of lost opportunity.   Look for the two teams to light up the scoreboard.

Chiefs over Buccaneers - While they haven't taken the next step, the Bucs have shown some improvement of late, it won't though be enough against a Chiefs team that is now in the lead in their division.  

Cardinals over Vikings - Sam Bradford has now authored the Vikings into freefall, aided by a stunning collapse of his O-line, while the Cardinals are still well within Wildcard territory and possible division upset range.  

NY Giants over Bears - The Giants are now in the Wildcard fight and the Bears are almost worse than the winless Browns.  

Dolphins over Rams - It's no longer a question of whether Adam Gase can get anything going - it's now a question of whether the Dolphins can pull off an upset surge into the playoffs.   Making it easier is a Rams team once again stuck in mediocrity, though pressure to start Jared Goff has eased with the win over the Jets.  

Patriots over 49ers - Not the lock one assumed before the stunning Seahawks loss.   The Patriots get a Niners team that played surprisingly well against the Cardinals and do so with major questions about responding to hard hitting and ability to cover anyone - with one postgame analysis after the loss to the Seahawks stating the Patriots defense is basically a lunch-pail group that takes coaching but lacks playmakers - questions that usually get answered albeit some more quickly than others; making it more intriguing is the possible absence of Rob Gronkowski for a game due to an injury.   The Niners are in Bears-Browns territory in terms of being memorably worthless.

Seahawks over Eagles - The win over the Patriots has now put all the momentum back in Seattle's hands and they get an Eagles team that's played well but not consistently so.

Redskins over Packers  - With word (via Mike Florio) of a swelling power struggle between Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy - and burgeoning Rumor Control Central belief McCarthy is gone after the year, though who would want to take over this burgeoning drama queen enterprise has yet to sort out - the Packers season is suddenly in serious trouble even with the mediocrity of the division and facing the weakest team in the NFC East in the Redskins.   The Skins, however, host this game and Rodgers' weaknesses as a quarterback are only becoming more glaring - freelancing, not adequately reading defenses and setting up passing attacks accordingly, and of course when he falls behind by 10 or more points, more and more it's an automatic win for his opponent.  

Raiders over Texans in Mexico City - Mexico City hosts the NFL for the first time in years - the last time I remember a game there, Ed Hochuli was the ref and spoke in Spanish.   The Raiders for their part have turned into Speedy Gonzalez and Brock Osweiler has turned into the flustered crow who gets humiliated by Speedy, this despite leading the Texans to 6-3.   The Raiders look like a division lock and appear to be the comeback team of the season.

One note on a team now in its Bye week - the San Diego Chargers now need to start phasing away from Philip Rivers and develop a new quarterback.   Their playoff hopes are now gone and Rivers can no longer deliver when it's needed.

So it goes for Week Eleven.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Cowboys Lasso Steelers, Titans Dirty As Home Dogs

The NFL suddenly has the nitty gritty in sight as the 2016 season is now in the second half.

The upset of the weekend was Seattle's win at Foxboro, a game that raised questions about the muscle of the Patriots defense (especially in the final minute of the first half) and also saw a surprising gag job by the Patriots goalline offense to go with a disputed exchange between Rob Gronkowski and Kam Chancellor.   Predictable media condemnation of the Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones trades ensued and ignores those players are not making a difference for their present squads.

The Patriots now have the Miami Dolphins to worry about as the Dolphins have surged, winning four straight after a 1-4 start.   For the San Diego Chargers their history as the AFC West's  chronic last-place team continues and it's now time to end the Philip Rivers era, as Rivers now can no longer win, the Chargers now 4-6 and playoff hopes realistically dead - and coming after rejection of the tax for a new stadium.

The Game Of The Week going in was the Cowboys at Steelers and it exploded to the most stunning finish of the weekend and one of the wildest of the season. Dakota Prescott faced adversity and responded as a championship-capable quarterback does. It was a doubly bitter loss for the Steelers as their playoff hopes took another bad blow, but the weakness of the AFC North could be Pittsburgh's savior.

The Tennessee Titans were home dogs for this game, a reflection that oddsmakers are not paying attention to the weaknesses of Name teams and Name players. Aaron Rodgers is still considered an elite, championship-caliber quarterback - the fact is he's not. When he falls behind he struggles; when he's down two scores he is almost always dead, having won just four career games when down two or more scores (the Lions twice, the NY Jets, and the Redskins).  Rodgers' inability to stage a comeback was in graphic evidence yet again while Marcus Mariota, who is developing into one of the best at looking off the opponent defense, outclassed Rodgers, completing his first ten passes and ultimately delivering four touchdowns; the Titans playcalling showed another fit of creativity on a halfback touchdown pass as well as boldness by kicking onsides at the start.

Taylor Lewan's ejection and the later endzone brawl after a Rodgers rushing score testified to the nastiness of this game.

The Minnesota Vikings season is collapsing as the Redskins rallied from blowing a 14-0 lead and Sam Bradford is falling apart as a quarterback.   

The most bizarre finish before the Cowboys-Steelers game was the blocked PAT that wound up winning the game for the Broncos after their vaunted defense once again failed to stop the opponent from tying the game - which helps explain why the Broncos are only ninth in points allowed this season (19 points per game).   Escaping as opposed to outplaying the opponent has been a trademark for the Broncos the last few seasons.   

It is stunning the regression of Blake Bortles amid dismal play by Brock Osweiler as Houston downed Jacksonville.   

If you think the punchline of the NFL is the Browns, you'd be right, except Jay Cutler reminded us again why he is also a punchline to football.    The Bucs have clawed to 4-5 and are second in the mess that now is the NFC South.

The reason that matters right now is the Falcons are only 6-4 and whenever they appear ready to take the next step they fall down a staircase, as they did at Philly, their third loss in the last five games.   It is also Matt Ryan's second time in four games his passer rating failed to reach 90.   The Eagles for their part are last in the NFC East, winless in division games so far - and have a winning record (5-4).  

The NY Jets finally started Bryce Petty and he now has the highest completion percentage of any Jets quarterback this year (61.8%) but also the lowest yards per attempt (5.4 Yards Per Pass).   They're not the only team with a quarterback issue as the Rams, 4-5 and third in the NFC West, are under fire for not playing rookie Jared Goff.   Case Keenum remains starter despite throwing just 30 passes with 17 completions for 165 yards, and he got sacked three times (he's been thusly dispatched 23 times this year to date).   

The NFC West is still a Seahawks-Cardinals duel even though the Cardinals have only two wins their last four games and Carson Palmer threw two picks against the Niners.    Colin Kaepernick shockingly kept the Niners in it until the final drive by the Cardinals.

Pending the Monday Night game the playoff seedings for now are as follows -


Patriots - East champs
Chiefs - West champs
Texans - South champs
Ravens - North champs

Wildcards - Raiders, Broncos

Still with a winning/.500 record and chance - Dolphins, Titans
Longshots - Bills, Colts, Steelers, Bengals

Cowboys - East champs
Seahawks - West champs
Falcons - South champs
Lions - North champs

Wildcards - NY Giants, Redskins

Still with a winning/.500 record and chance - Eagles, Vikings, Cardinals
Longshots - Buccanners, Saints, Packers, Rams, Panthers   

So it is what it - for now - is.......subject to later revision, natch.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Trumpocolypse, Or Proof That Love Enables Hate

Liberals reacted with utter stupidity after Donald Trumps' election win

After all of the dark speculation in the media over whether Donald Trump and his supporters would gracefully accept losing to Hillary Clinton, the reaction of her supporters to the sudden reversal of fortune inflicted by voters has been something to behold. To summarize: The world is literally ending.
We exaggerate only slightly. Twitter was flooded with apocalyptic angst on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning. (The planet is now doomed by climate change, and so on.) Then there were, of course, the protests across the country. At one point, protesters in Minneapolis made a big show of disrupting the city's light-rail service—because surely nothing quite discomfits rural blue-collar Trump voters like seeing the disruption of urban public transit boondoggles. And come on, guys—it's 2016. We stodgy patriotic conservatives still object to flag burning; seeing it on the news, though, is pretty passé these days.

The stupidity of colleges is further examined. And the rioting that has erupted by leftists after the election prove one thing - Love doesn't Trump Hate, Love Enables Hate.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Reminder About Crony Capitalism

Market economics are blamed for the 2008 crisis and other problems, which merely shows how ignorant people are about how market economics actually work - and how much government meddling and resultant artificial declaration of winners there actually is.

Clinton Gets the Constitution Wrong on SCOTUS Appointments

Some Democrats are calling for Obama to immediately appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. This piece from October indicates he can't.

Clinton Gets the Constitution Wrong on SCOTUS Appointments: A Supreme Court nominee must be confirmed by the Senate in order to be appointed by the president. But for months now the Republican-controlled Senate has refused to consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama's choice to fill the seat opened by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. There have been no hearings and no votes—only one-on-one meetings with some senators.

I would hope that the Senate would do its job, said Hillary Clinton during the debate last night, and confirm [Garland]. That's the way the Constitution fundamentally should operate. The president nominates and then the Senate advises and consents or not, but they go forward with the process.

There are some things wrong with this. The Constitution doesn't say what the Senate's job is but leaves that question to the upper chamber. Granted, thanks to the practice in recent decades, we are used to a confirmation process that includes hearings and votes providing consent or denying it. But the Senate is free to do as it thinks best in exercising its consent power.

Obama Administration Loosens Nuclear Deal After Iran Violates It

The Iranians have openly cheated the nuclear deal, so the Obama administration will not penalize them.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a recent report that Iran violated the nuclear deal by exceeding its limit for heavy water, a material used in the production of weapons-grade plutonium. The State Department would not call the incident a formal violation Wednesday, and told reporters Thursday that it did not see the 130-metric-ton threshold laid out in the nuclear deal as a hard, certain figure.
"If you look at the wording within the [nuclear deal], it actually says that Iran's needs, consistent with the parameters … are estimated to be 130 metric tons. State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters. That's not a hard certain figure............
"After Iran exceeded the heavy water threshold in February, the Obama Administration bought thirty-two tons of Iranian heavy water for roughly $8.6 billion. The purchase ensured that the country remained in compliance with the nuclear deal."

So the Obama adminstration is openly covering for Iranian cheating on nuclear weapons.

Progressives And Their Failure With Market Reality

Elizabeth Warren was bitchslapped by the courts recently over the "consumer protection" bureacracy she helped create that got exposed in the Wells Fargo controversy, and it showcased how clueless she and Progressives are about real market competition. It's why the Democratic Party lost and will continue to lose, even if they win future elections.

The Defeat Of The Plutocratic Party

The victory of Donald Trump shocked everyone who wasn't connected to the real world - notably the Dominant Media Culture and the Plutocratic - oops, Democratic - Party.

"From the WikiLeaks John Podesta trove we learned that the proverbial mainstream media was not just biased, but had openly colluded with a campaign in a fashion that even....supposed conspiratists....could not dream up."

Even Obama's cheerleading could not mask the bleak reality of doubling the debt in eight years to $20 trillion, chronic near-zero interest rates, record labor nonparticipation rates, and anemic GDP growth. It was extreme, not moderate, to junk the nation's healthcare system and ram through Obamacare, whose premises were based on partisanship, untruth, and pipe dreams."

The Unreality Of College

A disturbingly high percentage of college students has turned to rioting and panic in reaction to Donald Trump's election, and it reflects the infantization of students by universities, thus leaving them woefully unpepared for the real world, a continuing reflection that "progressive" thought it neither progressive nor thought.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The Lie Of Green Emissions Reduction

A carbon tax proposal in Washington State showcases the lie about ecofascist groups - they're not about reducing emissions (which are being reduced through natural market and technological interaction anyway), they're about bossing people around through government.

The Nonsense Of The America As Nazi Germany Argument

The comparison of the US with the triumph of Donald Trump with early-1930s Germany is common and nonsensical. The US is, despite decades of growing government intervention in more and more aspects of life, the most counter-totalitarian power in history, where 1930s Germany was an inherently dictatorial culture (not only militarily but in the state's insistence on compulsory and universal welfare) ripe to relaunch aggression - and notably aggravated by the bloodthirsty cultural tyranny of the Left led by the likes of Soviet sycophant playwright Bertolt Brecht and satirist Kurt Tucholsky during the futile Weimer Republic period. Some other historical perspective is offered.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Janet Reno And The Independent Counsel Law

"The death this week of Janet Reno, Bill Clinton's first attorney general, recalls the era of the failed independent counsel law."

NFL Hits Week Ten

The Seahawks and Patriots are the most anticipated game coming up this weekend. Picks for the week -

Ravens over Browns - The Browns have been in freefall all season and the Ravens, as inconsistent as they are, are not enough of a pushover for the Browns to turn it around.

Panthers over Chiefs - The Panthers are now starting to get their fight back and they face a good Chiefs team that has played better but hasn't shown enough muscle to truly contend beyond the first round of the playoffs.

Saints over Broncos - The Broncos got pushed around by the Raiders and Trevor Siemian may be reaching the first-year wall.   The Saints defense isn't that hot but has played better of late.

Vikings over Redskins - The bitter loss at home to the Lions came in the first game since the surprise resignation of Norv Turner, so the Vikings offense is still in a mode of getting used to a different playcaller.   The Lions, though, are clearly of a different caliber to the Redskins, who are good but not great.

Falcons over Eagles - Suddenly the Eagles are not as good as we thought they were and they get a Falcons team that so far hasn't shown sign of faltering.

Rams over NY Jets - The New York-based TV series Law And Order Special Victims Unit is reaching its 400th episode, and will presumably soon surpass the 402 career wins the Jets are stuck on as they host the struggling Rams, where controversy over Jared Goff and the complete lack of snaps he's taken this year continues to build.   LA's 3-1 start is history, and so are the Jets despite those two stunning wins the two weeks before their loss at Miami.

Jaguars over Texans - The Jaguars haven't beaten the Texans since 2013 and only scored fourteen points in their first game with Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator.   The Texans, though, despite being 5-3 have gotten there with a subpar offense that's exploded only in spots.   Brock Osweiler still has not made the jump forward as a quarterback people expected him to make.  

Titans over Packers - It's clear now the Packers are not as good as advertised, and watching Aaron Rodgers play one sees more and more a lack of true quarterbacking acumen - as in reading of defenses, setting up for short passes, etc.   Rodgers' game looks less and less like a pro-style offense and more like freelancing and huck it deep and hope someone can go get it.   The Packers are 11th in scoring at 24.8 PPG while the Titans are at 24.1.  Marcus Mariota keeps playing strong and needs to start stringing together more wins; at 4-5 the Titans have already taken a step forward, now they need to take more such steps.

Buccaneers over Bears - One finds it impossible to trust Jay Cutler despite the win over the Vikings and despite the struggles of Jameis Winston (currently at only 59% completion) and the former NFC Central rival Bucs.   They need to start turning it around; a Bears team all but dead last in points scored looks like a good place to begin.

Chargers over Dolphins -  Miami has leaned on Jay Ajayi of late but the Chargers run defense has played better of late and the Chargers D has forced eighteen turnovers so far, though they face a Dolphins team that hasn't coughed up the ball since the loss to the Titans.   Three straight wins have put the Dolphins back into relevance in the season, but it's the Chargers with more to gain here.

Cowboys over Steelers  - Don't buy the hype.   Ben Roethlisberger is not as good as people thought and the Steelers showed they're eminently beatable in losing three straight and scoring just 45 points in the last three games combined, this facing a Cowboys team that has scored 64 its last two games.   Winning the NFC East seems a formality for the rejuvinated Cowboys; making the playoffs looks out of Pittsburgh's reach.

Cardinals over 49ers -  Colin Kaepernick showed far more last week in almost reaching 400 yards, but managing just 23 points out of it (with a pick to go with three more Niners fumbles) shows anew the lack of winning ability as they face a Cards team coming off its bye.

Patriots over Seahawks -  It's the rematch of the week as the Seahawks and Patriots renew acquaintances.   The Seahawks are 5-2-1 after a grinder of a Monday Night win but has continued to struggle to score, as they face a Patriots team that has averaged 34 points the last four games and has the two tight-end set it has sought since the criminal implosion of Aaron Hernandez.   Seattle's defense also isn't as good as advertised, shown in getting pushed all over the field by Buffalo.  

NY Giants over Bengals - The Giants pulled off a rare win over the Eagles and now face the inconsistent Bengals, coming off their bye week and the improbable tie with the Redskins in London.  The Giants, despite being 24th in scoring, have won three straight since the Josh Brown brouhaha; they have, though, gagged up six turnovers the last three games.

So we await the beginning of the second half of the 2016 season.  

A Look At John Podesta Emails

Democratic Party hack John Podesta has been in the forefront of the Hillary email scandals (in one he acknowledges that the FBI "kept me out of jail") and presented is a look at how those in the Podesta orbit arrange jobs for themselves and their kids, as opposed to earning them.

Bonds Are Taxes

The reason why states are $3 trillion in debt stems from refusal to stop spending, and bonds merely offer a new tax with which they avoid getting control of spending.

The Election Fables Of 2016

Victor Hanson nicely slices up the mythologies spewed about the 2016 campaign.

"Character assassination and cruelty have been trademarks of US elections."
"Lying paid off. It got Hillary this far."

The Culture Of Deference That Is Political Correctness

Political correctness is a culture that demands deference based on a lie.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Harvard And The False View Of Manhood

Harvard's reaction to commentary by its soccer players reflects refusal to understand that masculinity is viewed wrong by society. The alternative is presented here.

Clinton Foundation Probe Continues

Despite liberal boasting when the FBI broomed - yet again - its investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails, she remains under investigation because there is zero evidence she is not guilty of stealing billions. What is keeping her out of jail ultimately is the Justice Department's refusal to admit she in fact is guilty.

Also worth noting is why James Comey played Cover Your Ass, and also this look at the Justice Department's politization.

What The Next President Faces

The 45th President of the US faces a lot of problems created by the 44th President - a damaged economy, racial favoritism and resultant entitlement-fueled anger (with Barack Obama's luck running out on Trump's watch as the CBO reported the day before the election) and appeasement of international enemies. Also needed for Mr. Trump is a better understanding of trade (the original link is included here.)

The Factory Jobs Myth

Donald Trump's message includes "bring back US factory jobs."  It's a hoary populist message, and being populist means economic and technological reality trump the message.

So What Do We Make After Week Nine?

The Lions pulled off the finish of the week in stunning the Minnesota Vikings, who suddenly are no longer the conference locks they appeared to be a few weeks ago.

The NFC North has turned upside down with Detroit's win and losses by both the Vikings and the Packers - who yet again didn't get it done when Aaron Rodgers had to stage a comeback.

While the Colts won, the Titans endured yet another bitter loss despite four touchdowns by Marcus Mariota - whose three turnovers were killers.   The Chargers, despite a somewhat-skimpy looking crowd at Qualcomm, are hoping the win will encourage a tax vote Tuesday to allow building of a new stadium.

The most competitive game may have been the Jets-Dolphins affair.  Jay Ajayi didn't reach 100 yards but led by his rushing the Dolphins have suddenly made themselves relevant to the 2016 season, while the NY Jets - well, they've become the NY Jets again.   Notable, though, is that Bryce Petty finally saw some action for the Jets.

The NFC East race meanwhile is strictly a Dallas Cowboys affair now with the Eagles faltering to the NY Giants.

The Raiders now have an undisputed statement win indicating they are back in the playoff hunt while the Broncos defense continues to be exposed as overrated, especially without Aqib Talib.


So what to make of the season going forward?  

** - The NFC South belongs to the Atlanta Falcons, with everyone else battling for hopefully a wildcard spot.

** - Of the thirteen teams that were 1-3, Indanapolis and Tennessee are still in their division hunt while Detroit is now 5-4; the Cardinals are still considered in the playoff hunt; Jacksonville has faltered and now appears out of any playoff hunt; also appearing out of the hunt are the Bucs, while the Niners absolutely are out of any contention.  

** - The Packers are frauds - of course in a sense they have been throughout the Aaron Rodgers era but his propensity for just bootlegging instead of actually reading a defense is getting worse and as a result they are getting worse.

** - The weakest division in the league is the AFC North. 

** - The Lions are quietly not going away and it's clear Jim Caldwell is a better coach than people want to give him credit for.

So it is right now with the season halfway done.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Government To Pick Winners In College Loans

The government wants to pick the winners in federal college loans

"The Department of Education's broadened borrower defense to repayment rule, recently released in its final form, looks likely as ever to do far more harm than good. Despite widespread concern that the department's move was a dangerous overreach with collateral consequences, the expansion will proceed largely unchecked."

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Liz Warren, Hackeramist

Massachusetts nitwit Elizabeth Warren has crafted a career out of being stupid - and it shows every time she rallies against "powerful interests" even though they don't exist outside her own union hack backers.

The Eco-Scam Attacking Property Rights

Environmental regulation has achieved nothing for the environment that regular market forces and capitalization don't already do better - all such pay-to-play bullying does is undermine property rights.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

The Myth Of Growth Management

Governments use growth-management laws to regulate what people do with land; they cite needing to combat urban sprawl, except urban sprawl is not something worth worrying about.   It's the myth that government ought to pick the winners instead of leaving market forces alone.  

Why Richard Sherman Is Wrong

Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks has caused a stir with his October 27 piece at the Players Tribune site attacking the NFL over cracking down on endzone celebrations. His epistle warrants response.

The NFL is cracking down on endzone celebrations because they are immature, they reflect that players lack focus on the game, and it's an attempt by players to portray themselves as something they are not - more important than the game. Sherman ignores examples where players failed to score because they were more worried about what celebration they would undertake - the funniest example was Cris Dishman of the 1990 Houston Oilers running back a pick six, then starting to hotdog it and thus getting the ball swatted out of his hand.   Sherman refuses to get it - the players are supposed to grow the hell up; maturity matters more than emotion.   The way to celebrate is exactly as Barry Sanders did it - you've been there before, so act like it.   And Sanders made giving the ball back to the ref the most memorable celebration of all.   Players who put more thought into celebrations instead of focusing on winning the game have no case for not being punished for it because they need to grow up and become adults.

Sherman's comparison to cheerleader dances is insulting and merely shows more graphically he doesn't get it.

He also refuses to get it about the league's reaction to domestic violence issues - the league's initial handling of the Ray Rice issue was the correct one based on the objective information; it was the ass-covering double jeopardy in reaction to a video - that verified everything Rice told all investigators - that was the real problem.   We also now know the league's one-game suspension of Josh Brown was over one incident of grabbing his now-ex's wrist - in short, an incident that in sober fact does not constitute abuse, yet media anger over information released after the fact once again led to double jeopardy.   Sherman should be angry at the media's endless advocacy of double jeopardy and the hideously dumbed-down definition of "domestic abuse" more than the league.

Certainly Sherman is right about how the league strives to phrase itself so it gives itself wiggle room to make things up as it goes along - even to misquoting its own rules.

"The commissioner simply has too much power."   Sherman is only half-right, for he's ignoring the behind-the-scenes undercutting of Goodell by the owners and the subtle but growing strength the players are getting against him.  

Sherman also ignores why fans love the game - for the athleticism, physicality, strategic planning and execution, scoring, and the spectacular plays.   A league of Barry Sanders-type players who make amazing plays without strutting or showing off (see for instance the 1972 NY Jets at Colts Game Of The Week where Joe Namath would score touchdowns without reacting) is a league more appealing than the fake attitudinal one Sherman pretends people somehow prefer.   The NFL is not enforcing a policy against fun - it is enforcing a policy for maturity and focus. Sherman thinks the crackdown on celebrations is somehow a reason for the drop in ratings - here are the real reasons -

There is now popular recognition of what players like Drew Brees have said for some time - Roger Goodell is maliciously ignorant of his game and does not deal in any kind of sincerity or faith with anyone - "It's very difficult to have a genuine, authentic disagreement with Roger," as lawyer Peter Ginsberg has put it.  The issue of what constitutes a catch is Goodell's league office refusing to give receivers benefit of the doubt.

It is now a transition period for star power in the league. Peyton Manning's retirement has been a strikingly important loss in terms of star recognition for the league, and young players like Marcus Mariota, Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, Jameis Winston, etc. have not established enough success yet to become true stars, while more veteran players like Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan have not won enough to become stars. Dakota Prescott and Zeke Elliott of the Cowboys are farther along in that category. The league needs time for these and other players to become true stars

There is still a perception that there is no upward mobility in the league - the same teams will win the conferences and win the Superbowl; there will be no more worst-to-first stories or comeback teams akin to the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland's other pro teams (Lake Erie Monsters and the AHL's Calder Cup, and of course the Cavaliers in the NBA).   This unfortunately is buttressed by some hard facts -  the last twenty-one Superbowls have had only seven AFC teams and thirteen NFC teams - Pittsburgh, New England, and Denver have accounted for fifteen AFC Titles (with the Ravens and Colts adding four more) while the Packers, NY Giants, Seahawks, Panthers, and Rams accounted for thirteen NFC Titles.   One-shot Superbowl teams in that span like the Titans, Raiders, Cardinals, Saints, and 49ers have been rare and with 2016 underway, despite numerous formerly 1-3 teams clawing into playoff contention too many teams such as Miami, the NY Jets, the Rams, the Browns, and the Bucs are realistically eliminated from playoff contention as of Week Eight.    

The league thus needs a resurgence of worst-to-first teams and comeback teams, plus its young stars and potential veteran stars need to win more and thus establish some level of star power.

In that sense Sherman is missing the point - the league's real problems are problems time needs to address.   Players need to grow up, not strut up and down.   And Sherman needs to better analyze what's really going on.  "This isn't politics.....This is entertainment."  No Richard - it is competition, and competition is life, and life is focus.

No Good Guys In Oregon Fight

NOTE: This was first published January 4, 2016:

The fight between the government and a militia in Oregon - in the form of a militia seizure of a government building - has no good guys - the immediate issue is the militia's violence but the underlying one is the government's abuse of property rights, and its attempt, at double jeopardy.

FOLLOW-UP:  The acquittal of Ammon Bundy and others brought predictable stupidity in liberal circles that refuse to understand the larger issues of government abuse.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Smeared Again

Muslim scholar Ayann Hirsi Ali has now come under attack from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a pseudo law center whose actual purpose is character assassinating seemingly all of humanity.   

UPDATE March 7, 2017:The character assassination by the Southern Poverty Law Center continues against Charles Murray and the Mainstream Media refuses to call out the organization for what it is - a disinformation enterprise.

Saddam Hussein's Totalitarianism

Saddam Hussein sought a pan-Arab empire, and this look at the Baathification of Iraq shows an Islamo-Arab imperial state at work.

Debunking The Myth Of Price Gouging

The LA Times shows its ignorance of economics when it criticizes "price gouging" - and gets rebuked by facts.

See also this piece from 2003.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The New York Times Invents a Narrative on Comey

The media's dishonesty in defense of Hillary Clinton gets worse.

We mastodons who still receive our daily dose of New York Times when the dead-tree version lands on our doorsteps with a dull thud got a special treat Tuesday, a textbook case of the way the newspaper of record goes about its business these days. The front page headline read: Comey Role Recalls Hoover's F.B.I., Fairly or Not.
In one respect, the headline seemed almost banal. Why not compare James Comey with J. Edgar Hoover on the front page of the Times? After all, they've both worked as director of the FBI—Comey currently, of course, and Hoover for nearly half a century, from 1924 to 1972, though it seemed longer.
Yet there the similarities surely end. Comey, just for starters, is more than six and a half feet tall. Hoover would have had to wear lifts to qualify for the Lollipop Guild. Hoover, moreover, was a petty, paranoid bureaucrat who abused his self-bestowed power in shadowy secrecy. Comey is a law enforcement officer who has unintentionally created a commotion by trying to make his actions as transparent as possible.

Hillary Bulger

The funniest analogy yet made regarding Hillary Clinton is with Whitey Bulger.

Making it more ironic is Bulger was a lifelong pedophile, notably in the 1980s and the infamous "Dog Room" where he preyed on underage girls from a now-closed parochial girls school in the Roxbury, MA area - and WikiLeaks indicates Hillary Clinton was involved with child trafficker Laura Silsby.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

So Why Does Hillary Lie?

Epic greed, power, and self-love.   With the Clinton kleptocracy, the end isn't visible.

Week Nine To The Whole Nine Yards

So it's on to Week Nine and the NFL enters with one of the more discussed trade deadline deals seen in awhile after Jamie Collins got shipped from the 7-1 Patriots to the winless Browns.  

Buccaneers over Falcons -  The Falcons are flying high after a clutch win over the Packers while the Bucs are smarting over a bitter defeat in overtime to the Oakland Raiders.   The Falcons lead the league in points and Matt Ryan has been boffo so far, but this scene has played out before as the Falcons jump out early then falter late; they get a Bucs team that beat the Falcons in Week One and has won two of its last three games to go with the bitter overtime loss.   The Bucs have cleaned up on turnovers the last three games with just one vs. three in that same span for the Falcons.

Dolphins over NY Jets -  The Dolphins have shown some shocking improvement the last two games with 928 yards of offense, not a single turnover, and 58 points scored, this as the Jets struggled to beat a winless Browns outfit and were awful the first half of that game.   Jets quarterbacks have combined for twelve INTs this year - and of course Rumor Control Central has it Tony Romo will be arriving in time for 2017.

Ravens over Steelers -  The Ravens have faltered after winning their first three games, but have a three-game streak (and five of the last six meetings) over the Steelers going, this as the Steelers have gagged up four turnovers the last three games where the Ravens are plus-three in turnover differential in that same span.

Eagles over NY Giants -  The Eagles have stumbled the last four weeks but are still fourth in fewest points allowed in the league facing a Giants team that has shown little ability to score and has gagged up seven turnovers in that span.

Chiefs over Jaguars - The Lions fired their offensive coordinator last season and have won ten of their last sixteen games as a result; the Ravens fired their offensive coordinator earlier this year but it's still too early to gauge if it's worked.   So the Jaguars' change at coordinator bears watching against the Chiefs, who've quietly gotten into a crowded AFC West race.

Vikings over Lions - Two straight losses leaves the Vikings stewing and determined to right the ship, so look for the Vikes to come out firing against a Lions squad that's been midpack in points and points allowed but which has taken care of the football with zero turnovers the last three games.

Cowboys over Browns - The Browns look more and more like an 0-16 lost cause while Dakota Prescott has ended any competition from Tony Romo.

Saints over 49ers - Speaking of lost causes the 49ers have become just that and Colin Kaepernick in particular is a lost cause and a waste of space.

Panthers over Rams -  More and more speculation about Jared Goff is circulating as the Panthers finally got off the skids last week and need to string together more wins.

Titans over Chargers - Three INTs last week and eighteen turnovers overall graphically showcase that Philip Rivers is not the answer anymore, that Mike McCoy and company were never the answer at the coaching level (with the upshot that Titans coaching washout Ken Whisenhunt is now the Chargers' offensive coordinator), and that the Chargers' season looks like another lost cause as they host a Titans team quietly building upward.   The Titans aren't causing turnovers but they're not gagging them up, either - just two the last four games.   San Diego's run defense could be a problem allowing just 3.7 yards per carry as they face a Titans ground game averaging 4.9 YPC.   Marcus Mariota's passer rating is also slightly higher than Rivers' right now.  

Colts over Packers - This at first glance has mismatch written all over it with the 3-5 Colts coming off only their third loss to the Chiefs in their last sixteen meetings facing the ostensibly mighty Packers.   But the 4-3 Packers have struggled pretty much all season and are midpack in points and points allowed with yet another Aaron Rodgers failure when he has to lead a comeback coming last week.   While Andrew Luck hasn't been great shakes, the Packers didn't acquit themselves all that hotly the last time they faced an AFC South team.

Raiders over Broncos - The Raiders now have the ultimate opportunity to make a statement about 2016.   Derek Carr is made of sterner stuff than Philip Rivers or Brock Osweiler and to go with what looks like a mismatch of a sort at quarterback (Trevor Siemian's 6.1 yards per throw contrasts poorly with Carr's 7.2), the Broncos run defense has been shaky of late with the Raiders rushing at 4.8 yards per carry and splitting carries well between three primary backs.  

Bills over Seahawks - This is my upset pick of the week.   The Bills have fallen to 4-4, but the Seahawks have struggled to score and have just one win in their last three games; contrast this with a Bills offense that is in the top-ten in points, this despite two straight losses and some pedestrian efforts by Tyrod Taylor.   Fear of the Seahawks appears to be waning around the league and the Bills are already ahead of where one would have thought they'd be at this point of the season.

So we thus await the raising of the curtain of Week Nine.